Tulsi Gabbard: Hillary Clinton 'defamed' me

“If Hillary Clinton and her proxies can do this to me, they can do this to anyone who stands up with a dissenting voice.”

Hawaii Congresswoman and 2020 contender Tulsi Gabbard rebukes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who recently suggested the four-term lawmaker is a “Russian asset.”

On "The Issue Is," Elex Michaelson asked whether Gabbard’s attorneys will sue Clinton, in light of a letter demanding the former U.S. senator convene a news conference and retract her “defamatory” comment.

“Give me a break. I’m a patriot. I’m a soldier serving in the United States Army National Guard…I’m going to let the lawyers figure that out.”

Unlike many of Gabbard’s fellow 2020 contenders, she isn't sure whether President Trump ought to be impeached, even as high-level State Department officials confirm allegations that the commander-in-chief conditioned military monies to Ukraine on an investigation into the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.

“We’ve got to see this process work itself through…transparency, focus, and a non-partisan approach to gathering the facts is essential for us, the American people, to get to the truth.”

Gabbard is in 10th place in the latest aggregate of national polls. She plans to win over Californians by “bring[ing] about the kind of unifying leadership that will help us bridge the divides.”

She’s sculpted a sizable chunk of her vision for America from her non-interventionist foreign policy objectives. As Turkey rears its head in Northeastern Syria, and President Trump dramatically re-shapes America’s influence in the region, Gabbard outlines how she would advance America’s goals overseas.

“If our troops are not engaging in an effort to defeat ISIS & Al-Qaeda, then bring them home.”

When Michaelson presses her on the outcome of an ostensible power vacuum that could crystallize as a result of a decreased U.S. presence, Gabbard defers to whom she sees as the "proponents" of these conflicts.

“The blood of our service men and women, and the countless people in these countries where we have waged these wars, is on the hands of the people who have been proponents of these wars, people like Hillary Clinton and others."

As she urges the international community to unify around common issues like the “proliferation of nuclear weapons,” she pays tribute to millions of U.S. service members on Veteran’s Day.

“It’s easy for politicians to give flower speeches on Veteran’s Day and say ‘thank you for your service,’ but words can be cheap.”

 In underscoring the transformative nature of her own military trek, Gabbard viscerally lays out the plight of veterans and others who feel trapped under an increasingly controversial healthcare system in our country.

“People are crying out for help. Because their lives and the lives of their loved ones depend on it.”

Watch Elex’s full exchange with Congresswoman Gabbard on "The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson" on FOX 11 Los Angeles Friday at 10:30pm/1:30am and on Sunday on KTVU FOX 2 at 5:30am.